Voices of Earth

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SATB/piano
Secular text in English
Duration: 5:00
Difficulty rating (1-5): 2.5


Commissioned by the Briar Cliff Singers & Chamber Choir,
Dr. Sean Burton, director

Premiered Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Briar Cliff University Singers will premiere Paul Carey's "Voices of Earth" on Sunday February 14, 2010 at 3 p.m. in Our Lady of Grace Chapel, on the campus of Briar Cliff University, in Sioux City, Iowa.  Briar Cliff University commissioned the work in celebration of the University's 2009-2010 academic year theme "Care of Creation."  Briar Cliff University's Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Sean Burton, will conduct the world premiere performance as part of a larger program entitled "Voices of Earth" which also functions as the kickoff event to a concert tour of Hawaii (program and summary of engagements below). 
 
The evocative secular text by19th Century Canadian poet Archibald Lampman celebrates the past through references to the music of the spheres while looking forward to the future in its metaphorical plea for a harmonious relationship between humankind and the environment in order to preserve the fragile beauties of the planet.  Carey's challenging yet engaging composition will surely resonate with choirs and audiences alike because of its relevance to our own time and that of future generations.  His onomatopoetic text-setting is particularly successful in elucidating an essence of universal concord beyond the perspective of any singular world view.  Scored for SATB chorus and piano with occasional divisi, the work is appropriate for performance by myriad college and university choruses as well as advanced high school ensembles.  

--- Dr. Sean Burton

 

Complete perusal score available upon request.

 


TEXT

We have not heard the music of the spheres,
The song of star to star, but there are sounds
More deep than human joy and human tears,
That Nature uses in her common rounds;
The fall of streams, the cry of winds that strain
The oak, the roaring of the sea's surge, might
Of thunder breaking afar off, or rain
That falls by minutes in the summer night.
These are the voices of earth's secret soul,
Uttering the mystery from which she came.
To him who hears them grief beyond control,
Or joy inscrutable without a name,
Wakes in his heart thoughts bedded there, impearled,
Before the birth and making of the world.
 

 

 

 

 

  



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